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Newbury Street completely open to pedestrians, closed to cars today

Matthew Bushery gives us a quick overview of Open Newbury Street today.

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Comments

It is packed on Newbury St. -- beautiful day for it!

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Today is one of those great days to be in Boston. People and actives everywhere. Lots of fun.

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I was expecting more of a crowd, as in more people in the streets, maybe it's not that great of an idea. There were few enough people that they could've just walked on the sidewalks and the streets could've been open for traffic.

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I wish they would have tried this pilot out on a Saturday rather than the Sundays the City continues to pick.

Sundays are often for church, family time, etc. whereas Saturday is the true day of weekend relaxation. I would also like to see how the September 10th pilot goes because the city's population will swell again due to return of students.

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I was there around 4. It was packed!

Would have loved to see more public seating - brought food for a picnic, but had to go to Com Ave., because no place to sit.

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It was definitely very busy and in many places all the people would NOT have fit onto the sidewalks. The Mass Ave end was noticeably busier than the Arlington St end, probably because there were more stores with tents and tables in the street to attract people and the stores at that end are more reasonably priced.

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And what a perfect day for it.

I hope for more days where the uber-busy Newbury St is closed off to car traffic. Personally, I started to avoid Newbury St. because the sidewalks are at capacity from morning until late evening, especially on the weekends, so it's nice for people to be able to actually spread out and enjoy themselves.

Pedestrianizing DTX was a great move for Boston, so I hope the City is keeping a close eye on Newbury.

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Unfortunately DTX isn't a real pedestrian zone. Any commercial vehicle can enter before 11AM and any cab can enter after 6pm. There are also random people driving through for no reason all the time because drivers don't care about laws and the well being of pedestrians. It's just a reduced traffic zone.

Boston is seriously behind other cities when it comes to being pedestrian friendly. Obviously Newbury should be pedestrianized, but not half assed like DTX.

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Great, pack your bags and move to a more pedestrian friendly city. Bye!

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...and help make Boston a world class city by calling out the people that are holding out city back.

I wish the city would make Broadway in South Boston more pedestrian friendly.

- A South Boston community member.

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Are you kidding? Maybe a couple of drivers (mainly tourists /suburban theater goers) per day don't read the signs and wander through - just like a lot of people don't read instructions about all types of things.

DTX is certainly a pedestrian zone, and it usually works pretty well.

There are also random people driving through for no reason all the time because drivers don't care about laws and the well being of pedestrians

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"Pedestrianizing DTX was a great move for Boston "

I can only assume you are being sarcastic. One need only compare the vibrant shopping zone DTX was pre-1978 when it was still simply called Washington Street and had traffic, and the post-1978, post-apocalypse look of it now. A urine soaked wasteland populated by zombies, despite the new tower that shelters the rich and the stairway that goes to nowhere. The 1978 attempt to model DTX, an urban downtown, after a suburban pedestrian mall was a dismal failure.

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Thanks for the laughs. I needed them this evening!

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His points seemed valid. I don't get your response.

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He was entirely way too hyperbolic for me to take seriously. I work Downtown and have enjoyed the changes that the City has done to Washington St. Are they done in my eyes? Not by a long shot. Washington St needs to be pedestrianized all the way to City Hall, and we need to just close off Franklin St (behind the Tower) already because drivers have basically abandoned it at this point and the street is too wide for its current usage. Drivers should be banned from entering, that includes Uber/Lyft, unless they are freight. And even then, freight should be restricted to late night and early morning hours. Pedestrians shouldn't have to be walking alongside huge trucks going up Park St.

Finally, are there people living Downtown who have fallen to opioid addiction? Absolutely. Is it a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland? Not even close. Come on now.

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I've visited and shopped in the area since the mid-1980s and have worked downtown for a decade.

I can only assume that you are confusing DTX of today with the Combat Zone in some prior year when you last actually visited the area. It is very far from a wasteland - during the summer, it is almost impossible to get out and get lunch or run errands or wind my way to transit or get my bike out of the office to walk to the right-way streets to home without hopping off a curb due to completely crowded sidewalks.

There is no room for cars in the area from about 8am to 7pm, and the sidewalks are overflowing even in the areas that allow them.

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I'm a lifelong Boston resident. The DTX of today cannot be compared to the vibrant destination shopping area it was in the 60s and 70s. Save for the flocks of tourists, the crowds you speak of are there because they have to be, whether for work or other needs. It is in transition to a residential area and is not a destination as it once was. The people eating lunch out of styrofoam containers on those stairs to nowhere don't exactly look like they are having a great and cheery time.

I also don't get this "overflowing sidewalks" thing on either Washington or Newbury Streets that people are mentioning here. I am on those streets even at peak times and never do I feel like I am being pushed off the sidewalks. There is room. My only complaint along those lines is that people walk too slow and several across, and I can't get around them.

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Like I said - EVERY DAY during the summer.

Everything you are saying here says to me that you have not been downtown in about fifteen years. I have to live with the crowds every day, even if I'm in my office. There is a whole lot going on on the street everywhere. The only chill time is between January and April - after Christmas to when the school tours start up. DTX even draws up people who work in the adjacent districts, including Fort Point.

You can claim all you want, but I can tell that you simply have no idea.

Here's a test: what color aprons do the DTX ambassadors wear?

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There are school tours that stop by DTX? Really?

I've only seen them at Quincy Market and on the Freedom Trail. What exactly would the kids do in DTX? Go to the Corner food court? Buy some pants at Macy's or Primark? Shop for an engagement ring in one of the jewelry buildings?

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Swirley; DTX is nothing, I mean NOTHING, like it used to be. The crowds today are small compared to what it was like shopping there when there was Filene's, Jordan Marsh and all the rest. And that was every single day!

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Shopping in person is declining all across the country, not just in downtown Boston. In fact many malls and stores are shuttered or all but abandoned these days.

But DTX is still a very crowded place at lunchtime, and it's experiencing a shift. Instead of retail clothing and record and book stores you're seeing more food and grocery options instead.

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A terrible period of decline, decay, horrendous crime. This period also was the true start of the juggernaut known as Globalization, deindustrialization, and the slow, drip by drip decline in wages for most American workers. For American workers as a whole, wages adjusted for real inflation started declining around 1972. There are other, negative social issues surrounding things like pernicious levels of narcotic abuse and collapse of family unit, etc., that caused tremendous social upheaval.

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...drinking from this:

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFcNJP9XoAI-zTS.jpg)

I thought the crowd was bigger than last year's pilot event. It helped that we got a perfect day for it!

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What's brave about drinking it? Its quality is considered excellent.

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Hate to break this to the idiots, but if you drink anything, it's got trace amounts of fish shit and sex fluids in it.

It's nature. Get over it.

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It looks like there's nothing to prevent someone from touching their used water bottle to the spigots.

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Now imagine two more rows of large trees in the middle, with tables and places to sit.

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yes there was a couple over priced cold drink stands. Clover had a truck. There was also a couple table service but no hand held food with meat.

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